Job Hunting for Graduates Career Basics Series

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1 Job Hunting for Graduates Career Basics Series Careers & Employability, Student Life Lower Ground Floor (Level A), University House, University of Salford, M5 4WT. t: e: w: Twitter: Facebook:

2 Job Hunting for Graduates This booklet aims to help you find your way around graduate employment, including key sources of graduate vacancies and more informal ways of job searching, such as attending networking events, asking friends and family and job shadowing. You can also get more information about how to approach jobhunting by looking on our website. Within this booklet you will find information on: What is a graduate job Graduate Job Search General (including online) Graduate Job Search - Newspapers Graduate Job Search - Careers Fairs and Events Graduate Job Search Creative approaches 1

3 What Is A Graduate Job? A graduate job can be broadly defined as any job a graduate does. However, many graduate jobs require a degree in a certain subject as an essential entry requirement. Some graduates will apply for graduate schemes upon graduation, whereas other graduates will start work in entry level positions and work their way up a company or employer quickly, using their graduate level skills. Graduate schemes are fairly commonplace amongst blue-chip employers. They are mainly in the corporate sector but there are some in the public sector too. Blue-chip companies tend to be larger, more well-known and more financially sound companies. Many graduate schemes stipulate a 2:1 as a minimum degree requirement. Some will specify what the degree subject must be in, whereas other graduate schemes have no preference. Spaces on graduate recruitment schemes are limited and competition is high. Many employers offer graduate recruitment schemes aimed at students in their final year of study. Most schemes have application closing dates many months before graduation, so make sure you organise yourself as soon as possible. Pick up copies at Careers & Employability or view online Prospects Graduate Directory. Visit: TargetJobs which provides information on graduate schemes. To stand the best chance of being successful at gaining a place on a graduate recruitment scheme, please see our guides on completing application forms, psychometric tests and preparing for interviews. An alternative to working at blue-chip company is to work for a SME (small or medium sized enterprise defined as employing fewer than 250 people). SMEs represent the fastest growing sector of the economy. According to national figures, in the UK as a whole, SMEs account for over half of employment (58.7 per cent). SMEs are an important growth area for graduate recruitment. New and upcoming businesses tend to be SMEs and they cover almost all business sectors. Working in a small business provides the opportunity to get your ideas heard and to get real hands-on experience. Individual input will have a visible impact on the running and performance of the business. There are less likely to be individual departments for every function and so you will be expected to cope with a variety of tasks. This will give you a clearer understanding of the business as a whole. They are also likely to be less hierarchical and so there will be more contact with senior members of the organisation. You will need to be prepared to take responsibility and use your initiative; the chances are that there will not be a manager supervising you all the time. However, if you prove yourself, there are often opportunities for career advancement in expanding companies. Salaries may not be great to start with but they can rise more rapidly than in companies with a more structured promotion policy. 2

4 Graduate Job Search - General If you have an idea of the kind of graduate job you are aiming for, you can start job searching. If you are struggling with the kind of job that you want, have a look at our Career planning, getting started web pages. You can also book a 1:1 careers advice and guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant in Careers & Employability. Graduate Job Search - Online Lots of graduate vacancies are advertised online. You can normally search via sector and location. You can also sometimes filter your search to look for placements as well as graduate positions. Careers and Employability We advertise graduate jobs and placements online. You must register first in order to be able to log-in and search for jobs via sector and location. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for up-to-date news, sector information and job vacancies. /vacancies /interactive Graduate Prospects This is a large information resource for final year students and graduates. The website has specialised sections on different career areas and a list of graduate employers. You can also register to receive job alerts for free. Prospects publish a range of hard copy publications. The most useful one for final year students is 'Prospects Finalist'. You can pick this up for free in Careers & Employability in University House. TargetJobs This is an informal and informative web resource, featuring a range of jobs from various employment sectors, including construction and property, engineering and science, hospitality, leisure and tourism, and IT and telecoms. You can register to receive job alerts for free. Target publish a publication which you can pick up for free in Careers & Employability in University House. Milkround This website advertises graduate jobs, graduate schemes, internships and work experience. You can search via sector and location. Graduate talent pool This website advertises both paid and unpaid graduate internships. You can search via sector and location. k 3

5 Best Companies Published by the Sunday Times, this website lists the best small, medium and large companies to work for, based on surveys of the actual employees who work there. ethicalcareers.org The only website of its kind: a comprehensive guide to ethical careers, job seeking, volunteering and self-employment. The website is full of features, news, career advice, profiles, and helpful resources. The website also has a jobs board. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) KTP offer graduates with a good degree the chance to work for a successful organisation, managing and delivering a project which is core to the development of the organisation's strategy. KTP offers the chance to apply your degree, start a real job, and gain a professional qualification. download zone in the publications and films section of your website. Jobcentre Plus This is a useful government website offering job listings, information and advice and has useful links to other organisations. Glass Door Glassdoor is a community where students can find out what it is like to work in a company. More than 300,000 companies are represented on the website, with company reviews, salary statistics and more. Our Graduates An online jobs platform form for students and graduates supported by the Prince s Trust Inside Careers Inside Careers produce career guides for a large range of job sectors. The website has graduate vacancies on it, company profiles and events news. For information on specific occupations, you can also see the 4

6 Graduate Job Search - Careers Fairs and Events Careers fairs, events and employer presentations are a great way to meet with and impress potential employers. Careers & Employability host many of these throughout the academic year: There are also national and regional fairs you can attend. These are events aimed specially at final year students and graduates and take place all over the UK. Graduate Job Search - Newspapers Many national newspapers and local newspapers advertise graduate jobs. It can also be useful to look at trade magazines and journals from particular industries as they often advertise specialised positions or give specialist background information useful when preparing for an interview. The Careers and Employability library in University House holds a small selection of trade magazines and journals. The Guardian The Guardian has daily job supplements: Monday - Media Tuesday - Education Wednesday - Public Sector Thursday - Information Technology The Guardian also has free careers supplements on Saturdays during the academic year, with features on graduate recruitment and employer advertisements. The Guardian website offers a range of features, including free registration to search their graduate jobs database. n/graduate The Telegraph The Telegraph daily newspaper has a specific job section on its website. Users can search for jobs by keyword, sector, location and salary. The site also allows job seekers to register with them and upload a CV. The Times This newspaper has several sections on jobs throughout the week, including legal jobs on Tuesdays, personal assistant / secretarial posts on Wednesdays, graduate / management positions on Thursdays and educations positions on Fridays. Currently most jobs can also be searched online. 5

7 Manchester Evening News The Manchester Evening News daily newspaper has a website where users can search for jobs. It is possible to search by job title, sector and distance in miles from a particular location. Local Newspapers Your local newspaper may also have details of local jobs. Graduate Job Search Creative approaches When you re job searching, don t just rely on advertised job vacancies. Many jobs are never advertised. Being proactive in your job can really be a good way of getting ahead of your peers in the job market. Some companies recruit internally or are happy to recruit from speculative approaches. Creative job searching involves networking effectively, which in turn involves gathering information, discussing ideas and in some cases raising your profile within a professional setting. By doing this you may make useful contacts and find out about opportunities that have not been advertised. Networking can also help as it can be hard to know whether a job or career is right for you; talking to people in the know can help you clarify your ideas and give you some tips on where to find opportunities. Check out our web pages on Creative job search: Alumni Groups There may be alumni of a particular course or from a particular country of origin. https://supporters.salford.ac.uk Careers & Employability Fairs and Events We run employer events for you to attend where you can ask questions and find out more from the people who currently work in the profession. ers-events LinkedIn LinkedIn is a professional networking site. If you want to register, you should create a professional profile. You can join work related groups and read or contribute to discussion threads to help you improve your knowledge of a topic. 6

8 Professional Bodies Many professional bodies offer reduced price membership to students and may have events or activities especially for student members. ssion Student Societies There are lots of societies listed on the Student Union website. Many run social and networking events for you to get involved with. Twitter and Facebook Twitter and Facebook offer opportunities to link with potential employers or people you would like to work for. Be careful how you present yourself on these social networking sites. /interactive Location When deciding on where you might want to work, it s useful to think about the sort of environment you want to work in. For example, if you like the cosmopolitan buzz of the city, a position somewhere in the country might not be ideal. Equally, if you like rural life, a big city and bright lights may not be the right workplace environment for you. Whatever your preference, it s important to keep your options open when regional job hunting. As the head offices of many companies are based in London, many graduates are tempted to only apply for vacancies in London. There s a lot to be said for applying to regional graduate schemes though, as typically these will not receive as many applications and so the competition is less fierce. For example, a company in Rochdale may receive far less applications from graduates than one in Manchester city centre. It is worth expanding your job search to less obvious areas. University careers services in the region you want to work in are a good place to start with job searching as they advertise local graduate vacancies: Go to Graduate Prospects and search University Careers Services. The UK has seen many job losses recently, particularly in the public sector, and the economy is still fragile. With this in mind, it is more important than ever that your job search is focussed and your CVs and application forms stand out. Please see our website for more information on this: 7

9 Recruitment Agencies Recruitment agencies are a popular tool for finding work and if used properly, they may be able to help you in your search for a graduate career. Recruitment agencies deal with jobs from all employment sectors and advertise vacancies covering permanent and temporary positions. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is the trade body that represents over 8,000 recruitment agencies and 6,000 independent recruiters. All the agencies supported by REC are legitimate recruiters who abide by a specific code of practice. REC provides general advice about how to use recruitment agencies: Many agencies specialise in certain types of work, within certain sectors or in particular geographical areas. The employer pays the agency to assist them in filling a particular job. You should not be asked to pay the agency for finding you work. When registering with agencies, remember that the employer is the agency's primary client and not you. Some agencies only exist online and enable you to post your application form on the site for employers to view. You need to check the security of the site, as your CV will contain your personal contact information. Careers & Employability have a page on our website with more information on recruitment pages, including how to use recruitment agencies and a list of recruitment agencies in the North West: Agency Central provides a valuable service to students looking for employment. The site displays employment hot spots and salary information for particular industries and job roles, including average graduate salaries, as well as low, medium and high pay. Candidates can then view and apply to over 70,000 jobs across all industry sectors and UK locations. The site also provides a unique directory of recruitment agencies, listed by the job roles they specialise in recruiting for. When combined with other useful job-seeking advice, such as CV preparation and interview tips, this makes the site an important resource for all students about to enter the employment marketplace Updated November 2014 (FC, HB) 8

10 Job Search Notes 9

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